A new Louisiana “Blue Lives Matter” bill would make attacks on police officers a hate crime.
Bill HB 953 would change the state’s hate crime law to include law enforcement and firefighters. It comes after a string of attacks against officers and growing resentment toward law officials because of a series of questionable deaths at the hands of police, most notably the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
The state’s House of Representatives is considering the bill, which would change the state’s hate crime provision to say:
It shall be unlawful for any person to select the victim of the following offenses against person and property because of actual or perceived race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property or because of actual or perceived membership or service in, or employment with, an organization, or because of actual or perceived employment as a law enforcement officer or firefighter …
Rep. Lance Harris is pushing for the bill. He said police are under attack and used the example of two NYPD cops killed in 2014 by a man who posted on social media that he wanted to avenge the death of Eric Garner, a black man killed by police. Black Lives Matter did condemn that attack, saying it is not their “vision of justice.”
“We have a pretty extensive hate crime law right now, but I believe we should add firefighters and policemen,” Harris told the Advocate.
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